Disclaimer: The person you need is Nanny McGee.
Spoilers: The Penelope Papers.
Summary: Ziva and Tony hang out at the bar. Because they probably do.
"I guess they were trying to call it something innocuous, but the Annex Principle? There's nothing threatening about an annex."
Ziva shook her head, pushed her empty martini glass away and signaled the new bartender at their usual spot for a refill, sensing it was going to be a long night. "I would not put it like that to anyone who was living in Poland in 1939."
"Huh." Tony scratched his head and drained the last of his own martini. "Okay, so when you put it that way, it's a little scary. Way to verb my noun and bring me down."
"Do not make me regret paying for the next round." She passed some bills to the bartender to cover two more martinis and a moderately generous tip. The woman bustled off to make their drinks.
In spite of the halfhearted threat, Tony continued, "Why not the Mothra Principle? Then the only thing you'd have to worry about would be the Godzilla Project or the Ghidorah Model. You can bet any think tank involved in that would look like it fell out of The Road Warrior. Y'know, an actual tank." He paused to wink at the bartender when she returned with two full glasses. Immediately speaking around the olive he popped into his mouth, he turned back to Ziva, "Still, when most people think 'annex' they're thinking building addition, not super bug. You will be defeated by our mighty ell with its open plan and abundant natural light!"
"It was the A-n-a-x Principle, not the a-n-n-e-x."
"All that proves is that they couldn't spell in the '60s. Probably a side-effect of mind-altering substances." He took a long swallow from his fresh martini and sighed with pleasure.
She took a smaller sip from her own drink, noting that the bartender had somehow found a way to make a dry vodka martini even stronger. Or maybe she just needed some food in her stomach. She scanned over the menu she'd read enough times to have memorized at this point. The case-closed ritual required a selection from the sandwiches or entrees, mostly because the ritual involved hard alcohol, unless you were McGee and always got white wine and the chicken Caesar salad.
Tony interrupted her train of thought as he snatched the menu from her hand. "Food. You read my mind."
"No one would need ESP to know you are thinking about food at any given moment."
"Food or sex. Don't go making me sound all one dimensional."
"Perish the thought." She mentally settled on the tuna melt and took another sip of her martini. "Do you think McGee is all right?"
"He's busy being McGrandma's boy. If I get the chicken parm, will you eat my side salad? I'll pick through it first to make sure there are no black magic caterpillars in it."
His reference to the case reminded her of something her stomach had made her forget momentarily. "Anax, not annex."
"Yeah, got that. We've moved on to more important things. Chicken parm or bacon cheeseburger? Are you getting something with fries I can share?"
"Anax, from the ancient Greek for king. In the Iliad, for example, Agamemnon was not the only king present, but he was the most…"
"I'm gonna stop you right there, Mr. Peabody." He gave her an appraising eye over the rim of his glass. "I liked you better when you thought a porcupig was a thing."
"Well, I felt smarter, anyway. Hey, did I mention that my dad's inviting you to his birthday party?"
The distraction tactic was just interesting enough to work. "Really?"
"Yeah, but I wouldn't get too excited about it. He also wanted to know how you felt about bikinis and Jell-O."
She bit back a comment about family similarities, instead asking, "Would you like me to come?"
"It's not my party. And it's not like Dad's also inviting Gibbs and McGee, too. Probably doesn't want to entertain the idea of them Jell-O wrestling in bikinis." He shrugged and spoke to his drink, "Might not be terrible to have a little, uh…"
She patted his hand. "You are sweet to do this for your father. I would be happy to come and support you."
"Oh, I was gonna say it might not be terrible to have a little bikini-Ziva Jell-O battle royal beatdown of all comers. Besides, I could use some new swimsuit pictures of you." He flashed her a lopsided grin. "But hanging out fully clothed while drinking is good, too. It'll be a lot like now, but with my dad and his friends hitting on you. So you'll probably have a better time because you'll have more opportunities to punch people."
She was still trying to think of a clever reply when her phone rang.
Tony swirled his drink with a swizzle stick. "That better not be a dead petty officer."
"Why would a dead petty…" She glanced at the caller ID. "It is McGee."
"So it could be a dead p…" He stopped as she pressed a finger to his lips.
"McGee. Do we have a case?"
"Huh? Oh, no. I just…are you busy right now?"
"No. Tony and I are having a drink at McNamara's."
Although they were on the phone, she could almost see his face fall. "You're with Tony?"
"We would have invited you, but we thought you would be doing something with Penny."
"She's out with Ducky, but…"
"Is everything all right, McGee?"
"No, nothing's wrong, it's just…I kinda just called my dad and I…"
"Just come, McGee. I will buy you a drink."
"Tony will keep his big mouth shut." She glanced at him for confirmation and realized she still had her finger against his lips. Pulling it back quickly, she wiped it on her napkin while he made a fake sad face. "We will see you in a bit." She snapped the phone shut before he could reply.
"So what's probalicious want?"
"I believe McGee wants to talk."
"Talk? Talk talk? Like, feelings and things? And he called you?"
"He said he had just spoken to his father."
"And we're the bad dad support group. Wait, why does McGee not want me here?"
"Most likely he does not want to be mocked."
"Hey, I don't mock when it's not…I mostly don't mock when it's not appropriate. And that goes double when I know ahead of time that it's not gonna be appropriate. Besides, you can always buy him a second white wine spritzer if he needs it."
"I'm getting it out of my system now! So can we not order food until he gets here? Or do you just want to get him his salad?"
She considered for a moment. "We will wait."
"Right. Serious issues mean serious food. Maybe even serious drinking. Whoever he gives his keys doesn't have to buy the next round?"
"We are almost ready for it now."
"Hmm." He waved to the bartender, who approached eagerly. "Hey, can we get a couple glasses of water? And I think we're gonna be moving to that booth in the back once our friend gets here."
The water was delivered by a slightly less eager bartender a few moments later. Tony flashed his grin again as he placed a few ones on the bar. "Hey, thanks. We'll be seeing you around. Always another dead petty officer."
The bartender gave him an alarmed look. "Have a good night, sir."
Ziva picked up her two glasses and led the way to the table Tony had indicated. "Dead petty officer?"
"Hey, it's true. Haven't you noticed by now, with your shiny new badge, that it's always 'dead petty officer' this and 'missing lance corporal' that and…I really can't wait 'til McGee gets here. Can we order the nachos while we wait?"
"I thought we were eating."
"C'mon, Ziva. Nachos are an essential food group. You can always run an extra mile or two if you feel that bad about it."
It didn't take much deliberation to get her to yield. Bar nachos did sound delicious. "Fine."
"Awesome." He sprang out of the seat he had just occupied and dashed back toward the bar. He returned a few minutes later. "Nachos will be out in two minutes. Along with another round."
"I am not going to be able to drive if we keep this up."
"Like you're such a great driver anyway." He finished off his drink with a flourish. "Cab's on me, if we need it. And if we really need it, I'll be the one to call Gibbs."
"You are a surprisingly good friend." She waved to McGee as she saw him walk through the door. "When you put forth a little effort."
"Yeah, well…" he lowered his voice, "don't mention it to McGee."